MEET THE MAMA // Alex Duxbury // Lifft Slings

Sling snuggle (1)


Who are you

I am Alex Duxbury, based in Millhouses with my husband Michael, daughter Georgina (21months) and our two Jack Russells.

Where are you from?

I am originally from a village in Hampshire, then spent five years in Norwich in Norfolk, before moving to study at the University of Sheffield. I have lived, studied and worked in Sheffield ever since.

What do we need to know about you?

I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I have always been interested in people, having studied degrees in Psychology and later Human Nutrition and so ended up working with the public in diverse range of roles. Over the years I have worked on tourist boats, building sites, monitoring school food, for a NHS mental health trust and as a Maternal and Infant Health researcher at a University. My research funding ended just before my daughter was born, so I knew I would have no position to return to after maternity leave, prompting me to consider my career options.

Our daughter was born in December 2014, and in September 2015 an opportunity arose for my husband and I to acquire a baby sling business; Lifft Slings.

Our business enables me to share my passion for babywearing with others and be a stay at home Mum, taking ‘Demo Baby’ to meetings, sling demos at groups like Mama Social and being the main attraction to our stand at shows.

All our slings are made in Yorkshire, by my mother in law so we are a true Yorkshire family business. Our slings are available from our website or at events such as The Baby and Toddler Shows, where we can meet the customers and offer free demos and sizing advice to ensure they purchase the perfect sling.

In the last 12 months the business has developed and grown, and I have gained new skills as a Babywearing Peer Supporter and now am responsible for sales, marketing and social media.

Where can we find your business/product (facebook, instagram/website etc)

Our website is

Our facebook page is

Instagram LIfftslings

Twitter @Lifftslings

Pinterest Lifftslings


You can read what Anna from Angel in the North had to say when she reviewed the sling here:

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

Going for a dog walk in the Peaks then stopping off at Our Cow Molly for ice cream on the way home.

Top mama tip…

Be the best Mum you can, but never compare yourself to others. Remember in your little one’s eyes, you‘re the best Mum in their world.

Your mama confession…..

I take the concept of ‘working from home’ to the limits to include grabbing my laptop and a drink and working from the front seat of my car, parked outside our house as our daughter naps in the back.


Alex will be joining us at Mama Social on Friday 9th September 10:30-12 at The Showroom.

MEET THE MAMAS // Rosie Dymond & Jenny Reid // The Apple Tree Centre


Who are you?

We are friends who met through our work as Play Therapists, and who share a passion for providing good, robust emotional support for children and young people. We both have children of our own, aged between 5 and 8, and have loved building up our therapy centre at the same time as we have watched our children grow and become more independent.

Where are you from?

Rosie grew up just outside Sheffield, studied away, travelled and then came back. Jenny travelled around the country as a child (mostly in West Yorkshire), came to Sheffield for university and immediately felt that this was home. I did move away for work for a couple of years, but always believed that I would come back.

What do we need to know about you?

We both love providing individual counselling and Play Therapy to children and young people, watching them grow and learn and explore and develop self esteem, resilience and better coping skills. More recently, we have begun teaching these therapeutic skills to parents, and have found it hugely rewarding to watch the changes in their family dynamics over just a few weeks. Our next series of parenting classes begins on 13th September, and we can’t wait to meet the new groups.

Where can we find your business/product?

Our website is We also have a Facebook page:

and a twitter account:

What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

Jenny: My children love being out in the natural world. When the weather allows, our favourite weekend activity is to go out into the Peak District and let them clamber over the rocks there, testing their strength and balance and making up complicated imaginative games in the caves and ‘dens’ they discover.

Rosie: Much like Jenny I love being outdoors with my boys, riding bikes, climbing trees and generally getting mucky!

Top mama tip

Jenny: I try not to organise too much of my children’s time for them. I’ve really enjoyed just watching them this summer, being ready to intervene if they need it but otherwise allowing them to enjoy each other’s company and really explore their own imaginations. It’s so much more relaxing for me, and more fun for them.

Rosie: My approach to parenting is the ‘stand back and see what happens’ approach! I’ve always encouraged my children to notice how they feel in risky situations like when they’re balancing on a rock or on a climbing frame – I ask them whether they feel safe and if they do they can try to go a bit higher, or jump… I try to avoid the ‘don’t do that because it’s too high / big / dangerous for you’ stance and let them come to that conclusion for themselves!

Your mama confession…..

Jenny: We are so far from perfect, it’s difficult to choose just one example! We spend a lot of time talking to other parents about how to communicate more effectively with their children, but I think the most important lesson I’ve taken from our parenting programme is about forgiving ourselves when we make mistakes or snap at our children, and focusing on rebuilding relationships.

Rosie: Sometimes I behave like a child, I get into grumpy arguments with my kids when I’m fully aware I’m not behaving like a grown up but I do it anyway because a bit of me needs to be that grumpy child sometimes. I apologise and make up with cuddles later… I think apologising to kids for behaving badly is setting a good example!


Jenny and Rosie will be joining us at Mama Social on Friday 16th September, 10:30-12 at The Showroom

GUEST SPEAKER // Sally Pearse 

Sally Pearse will be joining us for our Friday 8th July meet up. Sally is Head of Area for 0-5 Education and Care at Sheffield Hallam University and a Thrive Practitioner and Trainer.

Sally will be discussing elements of attachment theory, neuroscience and the role of the adult in helping children to develop a healthy stress regulation system. This will  be based on the ‘Thrive’ approach, which is a developmental approach to working with children and young people. The approach draws on the latest research to support children’s emotional development and help adults to understand children’s behaviour as communication. You can find out more about the Thrive approach through the website

Sally passionately believes that the early years of a child’s life are crucial and that early years services can play a vital role in community development and support.

Sally is an expert in the education of children and young people and as we Mamas are the primary educators of our little ones, this is one not to miss!

CRAFT SOCIAL // Northern Tangles // Macrame 

On Tuesday 28th The Chimney House played host to another Craft Social for Mama Social. Thanks to everyone who came, especially Jo Musgrave of ‘Northern Tangles’ who lead us in an introduction to macramé, the ancient art of decorative knotting.

Jo’s beautiful wall hangings and plant hangers are sold across the city, and she was there to teach us her craft!

We started with a glass of fizz and learning the basic knots we needed  to produce our wall hangings after we’d (semi) mastered the knots we set to work with our own piece of  Staithes’ driftwood and our chosen colour of rope.

The results we’re stunning, and we all left with beautiful, intricate wall hangings and a desire to create more with our new found skill!

Keep an eye on our social media for our upcoming events ….

CRAFT SOCIAL // Mama Social X Northern Tangles // An Introduction to Macrame

Join us at the serene setting of The Chimney House at Kelham Island on June 28th for our second craft social.
Jo Musgrave of ‘Northern Tangles’ will be leading the evening, providing an introduction to macramé, teaching the basic techniques required to produce your very own piece of art. Macrame, the ancient art of decorative knotting, originated in the 13th century when Arabic weavers knotted excess thread into decorative fringes. Macrame can be used to make anything from a delicate friendship bracelet all the way up to huge intricate wall hangings.
Jo specialises in spectacular plant hangers made in vibrant colour ways as well as the more traditional neutral shades. She sells her pieces across the city in stores including the fabulous florist ‘Moss and Clover’ in Netheredge as well as through her online Folksy store; ‘Northern Tangles’.
We’ll be knotting the night away incorporating rope with driftwood which has been collected from the North Yorkshire coast (!) by Jo herself to create small but stunning wall hangings.


MEET THE MAMA // Auriel Majumdar


  • Who are you?

I am Auriel, I’m married to the love of my life Matthew Swift and we have two teenage children Evan (16) and Biba (13)

  • Where are you from?

Tricky question to answer. I was born in Winchester, grew up in Rotherham, went to university in Durham, lived in Sheffield in the 1980s, went to London for my wild 30s then came back to Sheffield just after I had Evan. So I’m from all over really but Sheffield is definitely my home and I love, love, love it here!

  • What do we need to know about you?

I had a difficult childhood, troubled teens and twenties and terrible postnatal depression after I had my children in my late 30s so I feel very, very lucky to have discovered my vocation in my fifties and be living the life I always wanted. I’m a passionate believer in people and their wonderful potential and I’m so lucky that my work as a creative business coach helps me express that every day.

  • Where can we find your business/product

My website is

My twitter is @i_am_auriel

My Instagram is i_am_auriel

You can read more about me and my work in this article in The City Talking 

  • What is your favourite thing to do as a family?

It’s difficult to persuade teenagers to do anything much together as a family because frankly they’d much rather be out with their friends. Every now and then I put my foot down and insist on everyone sitting down together for a big family Sunday tea and we all really enjoy it. We cook up a feast, everyone gets to choose their favourite playlist (which causes endless squabbling) and we sit and chat for ages. Those are my happiest family times because I get to spend time with the three funniest, most entertaining people in the world.

(In the interests of balance I asked Evan what his favourite family thing is and he grunted “Dunno, cuddling the cats I suppose hurr, hurr…” – that’s teenagers for you!)

  • Top mama tip

I always remember my mum telling me “everything passes” when one of the kids was tiny and being particularly challenging. She was right, parenthood is a long game and full of different phases, some more fun than others. When your kids are babies you think it’ll all be fine when they are bigger but they turn into teenagers and it’s like having toddlers again except now they can leave the house on their own and worry you half to death! My top mama tip is enjoy the moments and the good times, don’t wish the baby years away and enjoy all the cuddles while you can.

  • Your mama confession…..

So many but not all for public consumption! I suppose my biggest ones are that I’m just making it all up as I go along and my kids have taught me way more than I have ever taught them. Oh and you know when I told you for years that I had “back eyes” and you believed me – well really I was looking into the bathroom mirror and could see your reflection, that’s how I always knew what you were up to!

Auriel will be joining us at Mama Social on Friday 17th June 10:30 – 12 at The Showroom

FEATURE // Instinctive Health Yoga Classes


Last month we had the great pleasure of joining Rachel Hibberd founder of Instinctive Health at our “Mums’ Night In” at Laundry.

Instinctive Health,  a Kelham Island based Yoga Lifestyle Centre, provides a wide range of yoga classes, workshops, massage treatments and Ayurvedic therapies and is kindly offering a free first yoga session to our lovely mamas.

Rachel is now running a later yoga session between 8:30 and 9:30pm on Wednesday evenings, perfect timing for after our little ones are in bed! If you’d like to go along to the session please email Rachel first:

GUEST SPEAKER // Nicky King //

On Friday 20th May we’ll be joined by Nicky King, founder and creative director of


Nicky was previously a buyer for Habitat; she helped create their very first kids collection. She has passion for beautiful interiors and keepsakes; this led to her setting up her own web store following the birth of her two children.

ICE-CREAM-DREAM-CHILDREN_S-BEDROOM_-STYLED-BY-BOBBY-RABBIT-_FEATURED-IMAGE_3e0122e2-89cb-4568-bc03-54b29f51338d_1024x1024 (named after Nicky’s own beloved childhood toy) is a skilfully curated online store stocking some of the top names in interiors and gifts for children including Kid O, Rock and Pebble, Pinch Toys and Oyoy.

Alongside the web store Nicky also runs the bobbyrabbit blog which provides inspiration for creating timeless spaces for igniting little imaginations.

Come down to The Showroom at 10:30am to hear all about Nicky’s remarkable journey and prepare to be inspired by her tips for creating magical spaces for your little ones!